By: Derryl Trujillo

Contributing Writer

— A couple of tournaments and one coach reaching a career milestone highlight this week’s area notebook for area teams.

CIF-SS Coaches Poll as of 9/20

Division 1/2

  1. Vista Murrieta

Division 8

  1. Temecula Prep

Division 9

  1. Nuview Bridge
  2. Lakeside

Players of the Week

Hemet’s setter Jacey Goldbach and Murrieta Valley’s right-side hitter Mya Jackson will share honors this week.

Goldbach, a senior setter, had 32 assists in a five-set victory over Elsinore. Hemet also reached the finals in their Dan Quam Memorial Tournament before falling to King. Bulldogs coach Lauren Valdez said, “Jacey has been huge for us this year in both her play and leadership as we transition into the Ivy League. She knows how to push her team and get their morale up in tough spots which we know every team will have.”

Jackson, a right-side hitter, earned gold division MVP honors at the Freeway Games tournament. Nighthawks coach Ann Romero-Parks said about Jackson’s weekend in Corona, “Mya was huge in all facets of her game…as an attacker, defensively and from the service line. She was reliable in big moments and played great volleyball.”

Freeway Games Recap

Santiago, Roosevelt, and Centennial combined to host the second annual Freeway Games Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 25..

Murrieta Valley came away with a Gold Division title defeating Great Oak in the finals 25-23 and 25-15. In bracket play they defeated Paloma Valley, Upland and El Dorado to reach the final. On Friday in pool play they defeated Chino Hills, La Sierra and Arlington. This was a successful defense of their 2019 title. Earning Gold MVP was Mya Jackson and all-tournament from Murrieta Valley went to Ruby Morse.

In the Silver Division Heritage was victorious, defeating Centennial, La Sierra, Windward and Aquinas (in three sets). On Friday they defeated Chino in pool play with losses to Great Oak and Roosevelt. The Patriots’ Jameson Sanders was named flight MVP.

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Dan Quam Tournament Recap

King came away with a gold division title at Hemet’s Dan Quam Memorial Tournament, defeating the hosts in finals action. Linfield Christian took third place, losing in a semifinal to the champions. The Wolves also recorded wins over La Quinta, Nuview Bridge and North.

Meanwhile in the Silver Division it was Woodcrest Christian coming home with a title. They defeated Orange Vista, Nuview Bridge, and North en route to a title.

Kaas hits a milestone

Paloma Valley’s Stephen Kaas has had two stints as Wildcat girls’ volleyball coach and plenty of successful teams. His program reached back-to-back CIF-SS finals in 2018 and 2019 but fell to Ontario Christian. They were also in the round of eight in 2017.

Those three campaigns account for 77 of the now 251 wins Kaas has as Paloma Valley coach. He hit the milestone in Friday’s pool play action at Corona Centennial against the Huskies.

Paloma Valley middle hitter, Christianna Hawkins (19), strikes the volleyball over the net during a home game at Paloma Valley High School. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

In a Facebook message Kaas wrote, “Reaching that milestone shows that I have a passion for coaching and developing players. Over the years I’ve had an opportunity to coach some great players and we’ve become friends after they finished their time at Paloma Valley. We have nine former players in college playing this season and I’m just as happy for them as I am the players from my first teams who are in their 30s and living successful adult lives.”

He also serves as a club coach at Viper Volleyball Club in Temecula and spent time on the staff at RCC.

Matches to Watch

Here are some matches to keep an eye on this week.

Ivy League: Paloma Valley at Elsinore Friday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m.

Last time these two teams met in Menifee they played a five-set thriller. One wouldn’t be shocked if these sides once again produced another classic in a league where every match is in a playoff atmosphere.

Ivy League: Heritage at Hemet Friday, Oct. 1, at 5:15 p.m.

It’s Hemet’s first year as an Ivy League volleyball program and so far, Lauren Valdez’ team is fitting in nicely. The Bulldogs already have two five-set wins in Heritage and Elsinore. A sweep of the Patriots keeps Hemet’s title hope intact.

Derryl Trujillo can be reached by email at socaltrekkie@gmail.com.